Looking back from the 13th green at Thorpeness Golf Course Suffolk

Greenkeeper Ian's April Update

Spring

Nothing reminds me more of spring than coming across two male pheasants sizing each other up in the middle of the eighteenth fairway. The female of their desires stood demurely to one side awaiting for the victor of the ensuing battle to claim his prize. Well after a few minutes of posturing the two birds went to it and feathers flew. The next day there was the victor escorting his lady across the first fairway with a slight limp. I must say that at my age give me a hot mug of Ovaltine, a large box of lego preferably Star Wars and I would be as happy as Larry for hours and no posturing necessary. The promising spring has been slightly knocked back by the cold north winds and bright sunshine, we have been working very hard to get the irrigation system up and running so we can moisten the surface of the greens and tees to keep them from going crusty on top.

The Fairways

The fairways have been fertilised and the rain that fell this weekend has washed it down to the grass root level. Incidentally for a raindrop to fall it must form around a particle in the atmosphere, that is why that after a good summer rainfall all the grasses seem to green up. It is the amount of nitrogen and other essential elements that have fallen with the rain that promote a short burst of vigorous growth. The best rain of all is the one that falls during a thunder storm, all the particles come down with a positive charge and the grass stands tall full of vigour. A few weeks ago James Martin was talking about his new grass scarifying machine on a Saturday morning cooking programme, he stated how much moss he had removed from his lawn. Readers please take heed, deal with the moss first by using a lawnsand product before you use the machine otherwise you will spread the moss spores all over your lawn causing a bigger problem over the winter months next year.

The secret of having a good lawn

For my last tip of this blog, the secret of a good lawn is plenty of aeration, after all you are dealing with a living breathing thing, it needs the light and warmth from the sun, air to breath, water to drink and food to digest and grow, basically the same things you need to survive. Aeration is very important it allows the roots to search for nutrients in the soil, allows water to flow down past the root system so water logging does not take place and lets the plant breath. If you have good access to your lawn then get a machine in to do it or use a garden fork, do not rush, mark out a small area about a meter square with bamboo canes. Starting on one side push the fork into the ground up to the hilt then rock it backwards and forwards a couple of times then pull it out, move it three or four inches back (75mm to 100mm)and repeat the process until you have covered the marked out area. After a few years you will notice a healthier sward with excellent growth and if you have been using the garden fork regularly throughout the winter months a physique like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Christine and the Proshop team are preparing the shop for the new summer clothing line so pop in and have a good look, and book a couple of lessons while you are there. Enjoy your golf.

P.s The Cuckoo & Nightengale are starting up!
Ian

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